We've all read them and laughed at them, those stories about stupid burglars doing the dumbest of things whilst attempting to commit a crime and getting themselves arrested instead.
Like deciding to take a nap on the victim's bed and still be laying there when the police arrive. Or getting stuck half way through a window, or leaving their wallet at the scene of the crime, or filming themselves with the victim's video camera.
They get caught because they do stupid, dumb things.
Let's face it these news stories are amusing. We read them and have a good chuckle to ourselves, perhaps even taking a little comfort from the news that those who would take our hard earned possessions are plainly inept and clueless.
But isn't there a danger in those stories? Couldn't these news reports lull us into being a little lax about our home security? After all, if burglars are so dumb there is no need to pay too much attention to protecting our homes right?
Wrong! The cold truth is that every day homes are broken into, folks' possessions
are stolen and the burglar gets clean away. The fact is the average burglar, whilst not being a genius, is clearly not stupid and those that get themselves caught by doing dumb things are the exception, and not the rule.
Is it not better to think of the housebreaker as having a few brain cells and protect your home accordingly? Are you tempted to 'hide' a spare key just in case you lock yourself out of your home. You likely would not choose to hide it under the welcome mat because that is a little obvious, but think of this, wherever you think to hide the key a burglar can think to look. Don't hide keys, the burglar is smart enough to find them.
Given the choice which home do you think the burglar will pick to attempt to rob. The home with a garden full of overgrown plants and bushes that provide shadows for the thief to work unseen, or the home with a maintained garden that gives a clear view of the house, so that neighbors and passers by can easily spot an intruder. The burglar does have the savvy to keep out of sight, do all that you can to deny him cover from being seen and you will increase the chance that he will leave your home alone.
So whilst it is true that dumb criminals do exist, and even intelligent burglars
make dumb mistakes, (so that the newspapers can publish those stupid burglar
stories,) it pays to remember that the average criminal will apply at least a little thought to carrying out his wicked trade.
Do not be tempted to think of the housebreaker
as a fool. He may think that honest citizens are fools enough to work long hours to fill their homes with goodies just so he can steal them. But the honest citizens should be wise enough to do all they can to protect their homes and families. Not thinking criminals
to be dumb, and putting in place intelligent home security, reduces the chance of being burgled, the statistics prove it.
Short note about the author
Martin Underwood writes about all aspects of home security. He is a regular contributor to http://www.surveillanceforsecurity.com, the site that presents reviews and information about the best home security products and ideas.